Billy Budd is an allegorical novella by American author Herman Melville It was written in the late 19th century and was first published posthumously in 1924. The story concerns a young sailor on the British Navy warship Rights-of-Man, who is accused of mutiny. The novel has garnered much critical acclaim and is noted for its exploration of themes of innocence, justice, and morality.
Billy Budd is a perfect topic for an essay because it is filled with moral and ethical dilemmas, explores questions of justice and morality, and offers an insight into the complexities of human nature. Five of the best essay topics related to Billy Budd include:
1. The Role of Innocence in Billy Budd: In the story, innocence is represented by Billy, who is seen as an innocent soul caught up in an often cruel world. What role does innocence play in the story and how does it impact the characters? How are the different characters’ views of innocence portrayed?
2. Morality and Justice in Billy Budd: What is the author’s opinion on the subjects of morality and justice? How are these concepts represented in the story? What implications can be drawn from Melville’s take on this issue?
3. Exploring the Nature of Conflict in Billy Budd: From a macro view, the story involves a conflict between individualism and authority, as well as a conflict between good and evil. What is the nature of conflict in the story and how does it manifest itself in the different characters?
4. Religion and Belief in Billy Budd: Religion and faith are important themes in the story. How do the different characters use religion and faith to shape their views and convictions? What is the author’s take on faith and religion?
5. Comparison between Billy Budd and Other Works by Herman Melville: Billy Budd is often compared to other works by Herman Melville, such as Moby-Dick. What similarities and differences can be found between Billy Budd and other Melville works? How do these comparisons provide insight into the themes explored in the story?